Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Manic Monday (on Tuesday)

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend.  My weekend included:
  • Friday night hang-out time at a friend's new place (which happens to be in the same apartment complex as us).
  • Helping out up in Joplin on Saturday. More detailed story with pictures hopefully soon to come.
  • Watching Pirates 4 at the drive in on Saturday night.  Hero tried to hang himself by bailing out the back of the truck while tied up.  All he ended up doing though was peeing on himself (and Lee) because he was scared.
  • Quality time with the Penick clan on Monday. We ate some wonderful food and the guys played bocce ball while the girls enjoyed the rehearsal for some outdoor amateur theater.
  • And quite a bit of cleaning the whole weekend.
And a special thanks to all who have served in the military over the years.  Thanks to their families as well who deal with their loved one giving so sacrificially.
To get your Monday Tuesday started off right, here's some super creepy sound effects made by one "instrument." I don't like horror movies, but I love seeing how they make sound effects.  Check it out!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Life Through Pages

Here's some updates on the new books I'm currently reading. This should give you a little glimpse into what's going on with me (outside of finishing that thesis of course).

The Christian fiction book I'm reading right now is Petra: City in Stone. This is another book by T. L. Higley that I thought I'd read before I got to Pompeii: City of Fire: A Novel which is the next book for the Christian Fiction Book Club.  One of the endorsements at the beginning of my copy is from Colleen Coble who says "I'd never read a book as compelling as Francine Rivers's A Voice in the Wind-until I read Petra by T.L. Higley!" If you know how much I love the Mark of the Lion trilogy then you know I consider this very high praise indeed and really look forward to reading it.

I've also recently started a bible study with a small group of girls and we're going through Walking in Power, Love, and Discipline: 1 And 2 Timothy and Titus (The New Inductive Study Series). This is a day by day inductive bible study on the pastoral letters from Paul. I've never done an inductive study before, and I'm interested to see how well it works out. If anything, we're going to at least get a more in depth look at these three books of the Bible and have a good time of encouraging fellowship.

Last, but certainly not least, is Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.  Our college group is going through this study and meeting once a week to discuss. I see this book challenging me greatly and I look forward to sharing those challenges and hearing from others. I'm praying that I'm able to keep an open heart and mind on this one. I would appreciate your prayers for the same.

Please also remember all those who are hurting after the series of storms we've had roll through here over the last couple of days. We're doing fine, but there are many north and south of us who have lost family, friends, homes, etc.  Please continue to pray for them and look for ways to help. It's been so amazing to see God's people surround these communities with love an support.  May His name be made great!

Some of these links are my referral links. Kacie Woodmansee is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

MM: Computer Man

I can understand now why Macs are so popular with commercials like this. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review of Words (Christian Fiction Book Club)

The Christian Fiction Book Club meets every six weeks at different book blogs. This month we read Words by Ginny Yttrup, and I answered a few of the discussion questions below.  This time it's hosted by Julie at My Only Vice.  Feel free to come join the conversation here and check out some of the other blogs as well!

Note: I’m not a book blogger/reviewer per se, but I am a book lover.  Hopefully it’s okay if I crash this Christian Fiction Book Club Party

I’ve not read anything by Ginny Yttrup before and I don’t read books like Words too often.  Not because they’re bad, but because they’re difficult.  The subject matter dealt with in this book caused me to read through it at a much slower pace than is normal for me.

The main characters deal with the loss of loved ones due to one’s own choices and the loss of innocence due to the choices of others.  There’s death and pain and abuse (both physical and emotional) and I could only read a few chapters before my heart was overwhelmed with all the emotions.

Through it all is woven the idea of forgiveness.  Forgiveness of ourselves, forgiving others, and forgiveness from God.  Also through this book was the mantra that the truth will set you free.

This book definitely had some edginess but a little less romance.  The romance that was there felt pretty natural and played a supporting role to the greater romance between God and His children.  This was interesting because normally in a story where there are extreme and intense circumstances, the romance feels the same, and it feels unreal.  Sometimes that’s what I’m looking for.  In this case, that would have taken away from the deeper meaning of the story.

Overall, although this book was a little hard to read, it was definitely worth it.  We all need a reminder of forgiveness and that the truth sets us free.

The questions I chose:
6. Sierra struggles to accept God’s forgiveness.  Many of us share that struggle.  How can we, as Christ’s followers, truly embrace God’s grace in those difficult areas of our lives? (see Matthew 11:28)
In order to embrace God’s grace we have to have a right understanding of how big and great God is and how tiny and bad we are.  A lot of people can’t accept grace because they think they can do it on their own.  We know in John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way and the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father but through me.”  So doing it ourselves is out.  Or people think their sin is too big for God or He doesn’t love them.  Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior.  He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”  So I’d say he loves you and is pretty powerful.  So all you have left is to accept God’s grace through forgiveness of sins.  Let the truth (aka Jesus) set you free.

11. What displays God’s power to you?
I’ve really seen God’s power in the storms we’ve been having recently.  I love hearing the thunder and seeing the lightning.  It reminds me of Job 37:2-3, “2Listen closely to the thunder of His voice, And the rumbling that goes out from His mouth. 3Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, And His lightning to the ends of the earth.”
I also really see God’s power when someone comes to faith in Jesus who I didn’t expect.  I saw that a lot in my short excursion overseas.  I would doubt, yet God would prove faithful.

The next book we'll read is Pompeii: City of Fire: A Novel by TL Higley.  The date for this book is on July 2 so you have plenty of time to read it and join in on the discussion. 

 Anything to help a poor college student out.  Kacie Woodmansee is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Friday, May 20, 2011

Halfway There

We gave Hero a haircut over the last few days.  I say the last few days because he did not enjoy it and wouldn’t sit still so we spread it out.  Let me say, he looked kind of funny with the back half of him cut short and the front half still had his “Farrah hair.”

Half of Hero's summer haircut (sorry, not the best picture)

That got me thinking as to how I live life like that sometimes.  Not half shaved, but half in it.  I don’t put my whole effort in to something, just enough to get by (and sometimes not even that much).  I do it with a lot of things, but I often do it in how I interact with God.

I often think I’ve had my quiet time today, why do I need to pray some more.
I think I’ve been at church twice already this week, why should I go again.
I think I like how this worship song sounds, but I don’t really need to mean what the words are saying.

I try to tell myself that I’ve done enough.  I do more than what most people do, and that should count for something right.  It reminds me of the story of the poor widow’s mite, except with my time and my heart, not just my money. 

I “put in out of [my] surplus” instead of “all [I] own.”  I give God my leftovers.  I get proud of what I do give when God really wants all of me.  All of me may not be that pretty, but God uses us, flaws and all.

P.S. Notice I changed the layout of my blog.  Feel free to take a look around.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

If It's Free, It's For Me

Lee and I went to a free orchestral concert last night, and it had me thinking about the ways we try to save money in entertainment.  Everyone wants to have fun, but it’s sometimes tricky to do it cheaply. 

One way is to do what we did last night and find free local events.  These can be plays, concerts, whatever.  If you’re in the Fayetteville area, they’re having two more free concerts at the Walton Arts Center this week.  The Italian Soundscapes concert with the same orchestra is on Saturday at 8pm and on Sunday at 5pm finalists of a piano solo competition will play with the orchestra.

We don’t pay for cable so we’ve made some adjustments there.  We do have the internet so we can work from home (which I’ve had to do more often than I’d like) so we watch most of the shows online for free.  We also have Netflix which is a good way to watch entire seasons at a time.  You can get just watch instantly option without DVDs for pretty cheap. You can also use your Wii or Xbox 360 or many other devices to watch them directly on your tv.

Netflix is also obviously very good for watching cheap movies.  We try not to go to the theater too much so we rent the movies.  We also use Redbox, but usually only when we get the rental for free (although $1 isn’t much).  How do you get free Redbox?  Well you can get one free movie a month by signing up for the Redbox Text Club.  On the first Monday of each month they’ll text you a code good for a free rental.  Bad news, it’s only for that day.  Sometimes they’ll text you free rental codes just because.  You should also be a fan of Redbox on facebook because they’ll have codes there every now and then.  Also, everyday from now until May 25, text DEALS to 727272 to get a code for anywhere between $0.10 and $1.50 off a rental for that day.  Plus, occasionally Groupon will have a deal to pay for one rental and get 2 free.

As for books, the obvious answer is to check them out from the library (whether the public library or maybe your church library).  I usually do this more over the summer when I have more time.  Another option is there are a number of free e-books available if you’re not opposed to them.  I follow Family Fiction on twitter and get their weekly newsletter as well (the newsletter is also good for entering giveaways like the one where I received a copy of the Voyage of the Dawn Treader DVD which I’m currently watching).  All their books show up on Amazon, but they’re usually free for the Nook as well.  And if you don’t have an e-reader, you can always download an app for your computer.  You can also just look around Amazon for many different kinds of free books.  Another great option is sharing with friends.  Feel free to come over and look at what all I have sometime.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for free or cheap entertainment and I’m always open to more suggestions.  Game nights are always good or just hanging out with friends is a good option.  What do you do to have fun and save money?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scripture Memory: Family Ties

So I walked at commencement on Saturday.  For those of you who don't know, I won't actually be done until August when I defend and turn in my thesis.  This delay has caused a good deal of frustration, but God is teaching me to trust in His timing (He made time after all).  I felt a sense of accomplishment on Saturday and I was reminded that the end is indeed near.  I couldn't have done the last 7 years (and specifically the last 2) without the love and support of so many friends and family members.  Thank you everyone who put up with my stress and frustration over the years.

While I'm very thankful for the love and support of my earthly parents, the idea of my heavenly Father brings us to my memory verse for the second half of this month.

"See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him."- 1 John 3:1 (NASB)

John is telling us to look at the love of God for us.  We don't even come close to deserving it.  Lee may be the one studying Greek this summer, but one of my favorite definitions of the word "bestow" (didōmi) in the Greek lexicon is "to supply, furnish, necessary things."  It is necessary for us to have God's love to have life, but it is not necessary for Him to give us that love.  That's what He chose to do.
Because of this love, we are called children of God.  How crazy is that?  He didn't just do us a favor by forgiving our sins, but he adopted us into His family.  Because of this, we should resemble a family member of Christ and live our lives accordingly.  This means being obedient to the Father and loving our brothers and sisters.
Because of this relationship with God, we are strangers to the world (or should be).  If we model our lives like Christ then we should expect to be rejected by this world because He was rejected by the world.  We are here on earth to further God's kingdom, not to look like everyone else.  We should stand apart, and it's the love of God that should make us so different.

I'm really looking forward to memorizing this passage.  I need the daily reminders that it gives.  And ask yourself: Are you a stranger to this world or do you just look like everyone else?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Manic Monday: Mad Skillz #2

I know it's cute kids two weeks in a row, but this kid is awesome.  I like to just ignore the older brother because I think he's holding this kid back.  (And I'm a little delayed on my memory verse post, but hopefully that will come later today.)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Daily Deals

So we finally got our canvas wedding picture. I know, it's been almost two years.  Better late than never right?  So doesn't this wonderful picture taken by the Beaty's look fantastic over our mantel?  Much better than a tomahawk I think.

One reason we put off getting the canvas for so long is because they can be expensive.  One day, I found a deal on the site Groupon that was for 65% off the purchase of a canvas.  Well, I snapped up that deal pretty quick.  Since then I've bought a few things from Groupon because they were such great deals.
There's a plethora of daily deal sites out there.  A daily deal site is a website where you pay some percentage of the retail price on a good or service.  These deals usually change daily and sometimes there's multiple in a day.  Some of these sites broad and for many locations, some are for specific types of items and some are for specific places.  Groupon is one of the broad and for many locations sites, but there are others like Living Social as well.  Don't be afraid to look at cities near yours if yours is not listed.  They don't have Fayetteville for either Living Social or Groupon, but they have Little Rock and sometimes Fayetteville (or my hometown of Benton) are on there.  Plus a lot of times there are internet deals  like the canvas or Redbox that you can use wherever you are.  
Heartsy is a site just for handmade items (I talked about it here) and Homesav is mostly furniture and decor.  These are internet deals so good no matter where you are.  Heartsy has some very cute stuff and I'm waiting to spend my $5 credit on something awesome.
There are also those sites that deal with a specific location.  NWA DealPiggy is that site for Northwest Arkansas.  They do a lot of restaurants and local shops which is great for the local economy.  Lee and I got $5 off a very yummy breakfast from the Rolling Pin Cafe from this.
Take a look at the daily deal sites for your area and online.  These can make for some wonderful deals for yourself or gifts to friends.  Saving money is always a good thing.

Just a note, some of these links are referral links. That usually means I'll get a few dollars credit if you sign up for the first time and purchase something.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Manic Monday: Mad Skillz

That's right, I used a "z" instead of an "s" on skillz.  I'm bad like that.  As I get closer to commencement this weekend I keep thinking about growing up and the little milestones that mark our transitions into different stages of life.  One milestone is definitely when you learn to drive.  This kid is getting an early start and he definitely has better skillz than I do. (sorry the quality of the video isn't that great)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

FREE Nook Book for Book Club


If you were interested in doing the Christian Fiction Book Club I talked about, then the book we're reading for May 21 can be found FREE for the Nook.  It may not be free for long, but whether or not you want to do the book club, go ahead and grab the book if you have a Nook or Nook app.  I've started reading it and it's WAY different from what I normally read, but in a good way.  I don't want to give too much away so go ahead and check it out.
And if you do want to do the book club, we'll meet up on Julie's blog, My Only Vice, on Saturday, May 21 to discuss.  So even if you don't have a blog feel free to join in.  I think it'll be fun.

(I found out about the free book from Joy at Edgy Inspirational Romance who found out about it from Gina at Hott Books)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: Beth Moore's David

I just recently finished the bible study by Beth Moore, David: 90 Days with A Heart Like His. 90 days is a long time, so if you're possibly interested in doing this bible study, here's what I thought of it before you invest.

Overall, this was a very good bible study.  Each day has a scripture passage (either from 1,2 Samuel or Psalms) and one particular verse that's pulled out to reflect on.  There are 2 or 3 personal questions to consider.  Most of these challenged me greatly.  Some were very hard to think about (like "How easily does a vengeful spirit creep in on you?")  They really got me thinking.  She then goes through a short devo bringing out main points of the passage and tying in other passages of scripture.  She does a great job of utilizing outside resources and really digging in to the verses.  She then prays through scripture, often times bringing in the New Testament. God loves when we pray scripture back to Him.
One of the things I didn't like as much about this bible study was that the 90 days seemed a bit stretched.  There were a couple of days where I felt like I didn't get as much out of it because the connection between the scripture and the devo was a little thin.  I don't think she made things up or anything.  They were spiritual truths, just maybe not ones you could get from that particular passage.  I also wish the New Testament had been tied in more.  The very last day was about Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy of a Davidic King that will sit on the throne forever.  I felt like more could/should have been done with this.  But remember, she does tie in a lot of the New Testament in the prayers.
Overall, I really enjoyed this bible study and I learned a lot about myself and my relationship with God.  I've re-evaluated how I interact with those around me and with my Father.  I pray that what I've learned bears visible fruit in my life.  I recommend this bible study to anyone.  Guys may not get some of the application, but for the most part it's pretty gender neutral.  Give it a try because it really will invoke a change in heart.

Oh, and if you're in the area and you want to borrow this from me you can.  I don't write in my books because I want others to be able to use them without all my random thoughts strewn about.  That's what my journal is for ;)

Kacie Woodmansee is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Deals on Handmade Products (FREE $5 Credit)

I know, two posts in one day, but I wanted to share this.  If you're into Etsy or other sites that sell handmade items, you should check out Heartsy

They have daily deals on handmade items like jewelry, accessories, etc where you can get them for around 60% off.  Plus, if you sign up now you can automatically get $5 in your account to use on your next purchase.  They've got some really cute stuff so go check it out!

Also, if you like Etsy, you should check out my friend Ashley's website.  She often showcases some of her favorite Etsy items plus the awesome stuff that she makes!

Heartsy - Daily deals on fabulous handmade items, at least 50% off.

Some of the links in this post are referral links meaning I get $5 credit if you sign up with Heartsy and buy something.  Just so you know.

How the Woodmansees (mostly Kacie) Budget

I was recently talking to a friend who is graduating and getting a big person job.  He had to create a budget for the first time.  He said the most frustrating thing is seeing exactly how small the amount of money is going in each spot.  I’ve been budgeting for almost 2-1/2 years now (so as a single and an old married lady), and it has helped me significantly to make sure we have enough money to pay all the bills (and that’s quite interesting when both of us are in college).  I just thought I’d share what I’ve learned in case it can help you.

1. What are your priorities?  Go ahead and list these out if you like.  If you track where your money goes every month you’ll know what means the most to you (usually).  It’s okay to spend money on eating out if that’s important to you.  Spending time with college folks means eating out so we make sure we set aside money to do that.  Just make sure your priorities are in order, and you’re not spending needlessly.

2. Don’t forget those yearly expenses.  We try to hold out a little each month for yearly expenses like renter’s insurance (which you should have by the way), safety deposit fees, etc.  One that snuck up on us, but is now in our budget is personal property tax.  We could just try and pay it with our yearly tax return, but it’s better for us to pay it a little at a time and save up the return to help cover expenses over the summer when things are really tight.

3. Start with an Excel spreadsheet.  Write down all the important categories of things you can spend money on: groceries, gas, food, etc.  These can be as specific or as general as you desire.  We have an “entertainment” budget, but we don’t divide it up further than that.  So, movies, sporting events, date night stuff, etc go in there.  Put how much money you think you’ll spend in each of these categories, and of course, make sure it adds up to how much money you’ll be bringing in.

4. Don’t forget to tithe.  We try to follow 2 Corinthians 9:7 as our example.

“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” NASB

 I’ve occasionally thought of how much money we would have for other stuff if we didn’t tithe, but it’s really not worth it to us.  We also try to give to individuals for personal needs or mission trips on top of what we tithe.  You have to figure out for yourself what God is calling you to give.  Just remember, it’s all His to begin with anyway.

5. Use cash.  We haven’t been doing this as well recently, but for some of our expenses we get out the amount of cash we have in our budget and only use that.  It hurts a little bit more to actually have to hand over the money as opposed to just swiping a card.  You’ll be less likely to overspend.  Some of the things we use cash for are groceries, eating out, entertainment, clothes, etc.

6. Sign up for an online money management program.  We use mint.com.  It’s a secure site where you can enter your banking information and every time you deposit or withdraw money from your account it keeps track of it.  It also lets you enter in your budgets and assign a category for each time you spend money (or multiple categories).  This has been beyond helpful so we don’t have to do it all in Excel or by hand.

7. Control your budget, don’t let it control you.  Stay on top of your budget and try to stick to it.  But if it gets to the point where it’s causing you stress then re-evaluate.  Use your best judgment about using money from one category for another (obviously don’t use rent money to go to the movies).  A budget is to help you, not make you go crazy or get in a fight with a loved one.  If you handle the money for your family (whether 2 or 10) make sure you talk about it with them.  Don’t just get upset when they don’t stick to the budget they didn’t know they were in danger of going over (voice of experience here).

I hope this was helpful for you, whether you’re a poor, single college student, just starting a family, or have kids grown and gone.  It’s never too early to start a budget, even if it’s just a very simple one.  It will help you get in the practice for when you actually have a decent amount of money to put in each column so we can be good stewards with what God gave us.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Manic Monday: Do You Smell Like A Monster

Before we get to our video, an update on a few things.  I just finished my Beth Moore study on David: David: 90 Days with A Heart Like His (Personal Reflections Series).  I'm probably going to be writing more on this later.  I'm going through a very short devo for the next couple of weeks and then I'm looking to try out one of Kay Arthur's inductive studies: Walking in Power, Love, and Discipline: 1 And 2 Timothy and Titus (The New Inductive Study Series).  If any girls are interested in doing this with me and meeting once a week I'd love to do a group study.  I think it's 13 weeks or so which would take us through the summer.  Please let me know.  You can get a used copy on Amazon for $4 shipped.

And now our Manic Monday video.  This is for all you who, like me, enjoy those hilarious Old Spice commercials.  Have a great Monday and take some time to relax!

Kacie Woodmansee is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Example for Suffering

It's that time again.  I've got a new verse to memorize.  Continuing on from last week we have Hebrews 12:3

"For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (NASB)

So, what do I take from this?  Jesus is our example for suffering.  So the question begs to be asked: what kind of example did he set?  I've mentioned these verses before, but the answer can be found in 1 Peter 2:21-23

"21For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS ANY DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH; 23and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously" (NASB)

So, what does this mean?  First off, Jesus had no sin.  Now, we can't live lives without sin here on earth, but we strive to repent from sin and "it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong." (1 Peter 3:17 - NASB)  
Also, Christ did not revile or utter threats to those who were persecuting Him.  Not only this, but He prayed for those who were persecuting Him while on the cross.  We are to "love [our] enemies and pray for those who persecute [us]" (Matthew 5:44 - NASB)
Lastly, He entrusted Himself to God as the Righteous Judge.  We see this applying to ourselves later in 1 Peter 4 when it says "therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right."  We trust in God for our salvation, which is far greater than the suffering we'll experience here on earth.

Because Christ suffered, we should take encouragement from that.  Christ knows what you're going through because He's been there and then some.  We will all suffer, but how do you react to it?  We all like talking to others who have gone through the same thing we have.  It feels good to not be alone.  How much better should we feel telling our worries to the Creator who has suffered and made it through.  It's a good reminder for me when things aren't going as well as I would like.  I hope it encourages you.